I just finished up a conversation with a D1 lacrosse player who just learned her career is over. She medically retired earlier this month due to a long-term injury that finally took its toll on her.
She was devastated. Lost. Confused and lacking clarity of purpose and direction.
Her identity has been tied up in sports for the past 15 years of her life. That is more than 75% of her lifetime, she has identified herself as an athlete.
How can you blame her?
Our value and sense of purpose comes from what gets rewarded and prioritized in our lives.
I sent her the following message:
“You know, I was thinking about you today and I came to a conclusion that maybe you have not considered…your TRUE STRENGTHS are:
#1- Your crazy hard work ethic (passionate stubbornness at times)
#2- You innate ability to be a leader...you’ve never been afraid to step up and away from the crowd
For so long you have used those things for sports. How awesome will it be when you figure out what the next “thing” is that you are supposed to use those gifts for.
Maybe it’s coaching? Idk, but all I do know is that you are a rockstar of a person, not just an athlete. You have always amazed me.
Have a great weekend, keep inspiring :)”
Her response back:
“Thank you so much. Really needed that. Brought an entire new attitude to practice today after reading that.”
She is going to go on and be successful in whatever she does for the rest of her life. Not because of what I said, but because she has a support group that is pouring into her right now, reaffirming to her that her value and identity has NEVER been in sports alone.
Her TRUE strengths are what allowed her to be great at lacrosse. Being taught that as a young athlete is very, very important.
Most athletes will need help and guidance discovering their true strengths...it is not easy to figure out alone. But by knowing their real strengths and value, we can all agree they will be more successful in school, sports, and life afterwards.
Make sure you are drilling this into the minds and hearts of the athletes you parent, teach, or work with. Someday they will thank you for it.
P.S. Want Your Son/Daughter To Get a STRONGER Mindset?
Time for ACTION. Next week I will open up registration to Part 2 of my “Mental Preparation for Sport” workshop on Saturday April 7th from 12:30-1:45 pm. This is a unique opportunity to work with your son/daughter in a small, semi-private setting that’s guaranteed to strengthen their mindset, better prepare them for sport and competition, and just get them BETTER. One topic in particular will be, "Overcoming adversity in sports when things do not go your way."
There is a MAX of 15 of athletes in this workshop. If they missed Part 1 last month, no worries. The content and exercises we go through will be independent of Part 1. Keep an eye out for the email invitation next week. If you have any questions, please email me at Andrew@pfpfit.com.
"Initially I didn’t know that PFP offered classes on the Mental Game. It was my dad that brought the class to my attention. But, i wanted to join the class because i know that the most dominate athletes who i look up to have such a strong mental game. Which is just as or maybe even more important to the physical side of being an athlete. I just truly wanted to learn more about having a strong mindset and how to improve my mental game. (Trying to get better at not getting in my head, comparing myself to others, being to hard/critical of myself when i make a mistake in school or on the field - perfectionist and overworking myself).
After going to the workshop, I realize that I am not alone and that a lot of other people struggle with mindset too. That was comforting. The workshop also gave me the courage and motivation to unfollow the negative sources in my life (social media in particular) and I have already made some choices to surround myself with different people. I learned that INPUT=OUTPUT. I really enjoyed the workshop."
-Female Athlete who attended the workshop earlier this month